Turns out it isn’t the economy, stupid.
Ever since the beginning of the first lockdown one of the things I’ve noticed is pieces and comments along the lines of that the pandemic has ‘led to an extraordinary expansion of government power‘ but as a keen studier of history I know this sort of thing happens when there’s a genuine problem facing the country.
For example the Emergency Powers Acts at the start of world war two or even the Thatcher government’s response to the AIDS crisis with the Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 and the Public Health (Infectious Diseases) Regulations 1985 which allowed the state to detain people with certain suspected medical conditions and force them to undergo mandatory medical examinations were analogous to the Covid-19 pandemic. The Public Health (Control of Disease) Act 1984 was the legal basis for the stay at home order issued by Boris Johnson in March 2020.
The overwhelming majority of the public realised that the Covid-19 pandemic was something that required extraordinary measures and that’s why we see such polling as we saw from YouGov. So long as the government gives up the powers once the country is fully vaccinated their approach during the pandemic, then the government will not be punished for the lockdowns nor will the opposition parties that supported the lockdowns.
Ultimately I don’t think the public are pro lockdowns per se, more they are vehemently opposed to dying earlier than expected.
PS – Of course the Ragin’ Cajun’s line is often misquoted, his campaign strategy plan was ‘1) Change vs. more of the same. 2) The economy, stupid. 3) Don’t forget health care.’